Islam in International Relations: Islamism

Islam in International Relations: Islamism (Spring 2008)

Underwood College

Horace Jeffery Hodges


Course Description: As the title suggests, the course will attempt to understand the rise of Islamism in our time by tracing its development through reading primary and secondary sources. Students are expected to be familiar with Samuel P. Huntington’s article on the clash of civilizations, which argues that civilizations clash because they are based upon religions appealing to different fundamental values. This approach enables us to see two aspects to Islamism’s rise, as actor and as reactor.


Weekly Assignments: I have listed below the sources that I have located so far, but it will be expanded. Some of these will be required reading, and we will discuss these texts thoroughly, as in a seminar. However, most of these articles will be provided as resources for a paper to be written for the class. Student are expected to expand the list to fit their own research.


Classtime Work: Reading, analysis, and discussion of selected articles from the list below. Students are expected to read each assignment before class and come prepared for discussion. We will have regular student presentations to facilitate discussion.


Graded Work: Thesis paper of about 15 paragraphs, with formal thesis statement and sound sources. Two drafts to be written, each graded, with course grade depending on improvement.



Week                  Assignment


1.   3/5                Introduction

      3/7                Mneimneh/Makiya, "Manual for a 'Raid'" & Internet Research

2.   3/12              Handout: Thesis Statement, Introductory, Middle, Concluding Paragraphs

      3/14              Presentations: Islamism. Also: Decisions on Research Directions

3.   3/19              Presentations:

      3/21              Presentations:

4.   3/26              Presentations:

      3/28              Presentations:

5.   4/2                Presentations:

      4/4                Presentations:

6.   4/9                Presentations:

      4/11              Presentations:

7.   4/16              Presentations:

      4/18              Presentations:

8.   4/23              Midterm Week: Thesis Statement Due

      4/25              Presentations:

9.   4/30              Presentations:

      5/2                Presentations:

10. 5/7                Presentations:

      5/9                Presentations:

11. 5/14              Presentations:

      5/16              Presentations:

12. 5/21              Presentations:

      5/23              Presentations:

13. 5/28              Essays Due: First Draft

      5/30              Presentations:

14. 6/4                Presentations:

      6/6                Holiday

15. 6/11              Presentations:

      6/13              Presentations:

16. 6/18              Presentations:

      6/20              Essay Due: Final Draft


NOTE: The following items are sometimes linked to Wikipedia sites, but the link is no endorsement of Wikipedia as a reliable source, and it should not be cited as a source in papers. Wikpedia is merely a useful resource, used for preliminary research but not to be trusted and always to be checked.


Islamist Orientations






Muslim Brotherhood







Jamal al-Din al-Afghani

Mohamed Atta

Abdullah Yusuf Azzam

Hassan al-Banna

Ruhollah Musawi Khomeini

Abul Ala Maududi

Sayyid Qutb

Ibn Taymiyyah

Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab


Websites (Professional)


Combating Terrorism Center (West Point)

Global Security Organization

Long War Journal (Bill Roggio)

MEMRI Islamist Website Monitor Project

Online Magazine (Michael Yon)

Political Islam Online

Threats Watch (Bill Roggio et al.)


Websites (Nonprofessional)






Belmont Club (Richard Fernandez)

Counterterrorism Blog (Andrew Cochran et al.)

Global Guerrillas (John Robb)

Middle East Journal (Michael Totten)





Aboul-Enein - Khalidi - Revitalizing Qutb

Aboul-Enein and Zohur - Islamic Rulings on Warfare

Berman - The Philosopher of Islamic Terror

Berman - Who's Afraid of Tariq Ramadan?

Cook - Paradigmatic Jihadi Movements

Crone - Islam and Religious Freedom

Eikmeier - Qutbism - Islamic Fascism

Felter - Cracks in Foundation - Leadership Schisms

Felter and Fishman - Al Qa'ida's Foreign Fighters in Iraq

Fine - Contrasting Secular and Religious Terrorism

Fishman - Fourth Generation Governance

Fishman - Al-Qa'ida's Imaginary Emir

Freeman - Democracy, Al Qaeda, Terrorism

Hafez - Rationalty Culture Suicide Bombers

Hamid - (Fradkin-Haqqani-Brown - Current Trends Islamist Ideology) - Development Jihadi Mind

Huntington - Clash of Civilizations

Ibn Taimiyyah - Jihad

Kydd and Walter - Strategies of Terrorism

Jasser - Americanism vs. Islamism: A Personal Perspective

Kowalski - Geographical Spatial Imaginings of Islamist Extremism

LaRossa - The Anchor of a Movement: Religious Ideology in Islamism

Lia - Al Qaida Strategist Abu Mu'sab al Suri

Lilla - Politics of God

Magouirk-Atran-Sageman - Connecting Terrorist Networks

McCants - Problems with the Arabic Name Game

McGregor: Jihad and the Rifle Alone

Mneimneh and Makiya - Manual for a 'Raid'

Najdi - Management of Savagery

Pavlin - Ibn Taymiyya, Taqi al-Din (1263-1328)

Ranstorp - Virtual Sanctuary of Al Qaeda

Sageman - Understanding Terror Networks

Wahhab - Book of Tawheed

Ward - Osama's Wake- 2nd Generation Al Qaeda

Wiktorowicz - Anatomy Salafi Movement

Wiktorowicz - Genealogy of Radical Islam